I used to work downtown at an office that was 'dog friendly' which is pretty cool if the dogs are well mannered. A work friend however had a nasty boxer/pit/something else (I was amazed she was able to bring him to work for so long because he would lunge at her office door if you stopped by). It always showed aggression towards homeless and drifter types outside on the street in front of the office. I always found it so interesting that the dog could tell from far away when someone was not quite right.
Back in the 80's I had a friend that had a brother and sister cocker. The dogs would fight each other every day, sometimes several times and drawing blood. It was horrific. They were from a pet store, and most likely a puppy mill.
My sister worked at a vet clinic, and a preggers mutt was brought in from the reservation.
She delivered 11 pups of various colours and marking, no 2 looked alike lol
One of the pups was a still born, my sister gave it mouth to mouth/incubated/etc this little one and brought her back.
All the pups were adopted out and my sister kept the one she revived.
Vet guessed they were Akita/Shep/Rotti crosses......as they all looked a little like one breed over the others.
All of the pups have been euth'd due to aggression, over 10 years since they were born.
My sister took her female to many many trainers and behavior specialist to figure out why her female was absolutly aggressive. Not fear or food or human vs. animal...over all just plain mean.
She was amazing with close family, I trusted her around my daughter to a point, as they grew up together. However if someone new came in the picture she was always muzzled. walking her, muzzled. vet visit, muzzled. Someone pops over for a visit and knocks/rings the bell...she was muzzled before the door was answered.
The trainers and vets felt that she had brain issues due to her being a still born....but that doesn't explain the whole litter being aggressive.
Her last straw was after my sister had her son, they were laying in bed (son was 6 months old) and the baby was laughing over something...my sister seen the female come into the bedroom in a slinking crouch and skirt around to the end of the bed...as soon as she seen this posture, she immediatly yelled "Daisy, out!" and rolled over so her son was under her. Thats when the female lunged and bit her back...exactly where her son would have been.
There was no growling, no bark, if she hadn't seen her come in the room, she would have had no warning. This happened in a manner of seconds/less then 3mins (as she described it)
the female immediatly jumped off once she realized who she bit, and my sister crated her and called for help. Less then 2 hrs later she was put down.
This was the 4th time she had bitten someone to the point of needing stitches.
I do not trust Akitas now, or any rez dog. There are the few who I do like, so its not all...but my first instinct is to distrust until proven different.
if you havent fallen off a horse….then you havent been ridin long enough
Pit Bull - she was very sweet until she wasn't. She simply had a loose screw and was very vicious when something clicked. At other times, she was perfectly gentle and sweet.
Boxers - neighborhood dogs who were very vicious with my old rough collie when she was old.
I used to have the prejudice against the little ones - but have really gotten over that. Chis are great! as are all of the other little ones that people have criticized her. I never thought I'd love the little dogs as much as I do. If they are treated like other dogs, they are just as great.
I am a dog groomer and the worst bite I have received was from a Husky. He bit without warning- that I could tell. Second worst was a chihuahua who launched at my face and bit me above the eye.The worst bites I have witnessed were from two pit-bulls. The family dog when I was a kid was attacked twice by the same two when they got out of their fence and ran across the hill into our yard. Several bones were broken, tendons ripped, big gashes etc. She was lucky to live.
As a child one of my best friends had a Lhasa-shitz-aneese thing that was named MEANO. Yes Meano. Because it was mean and would bite you if you made eye contact, or moved, or breathed too loudly..... Why they didn't lock it up when kids were over is beyond me. I clearly remember standing on the back of their couch trying to get away from it and the dad running in saying "who did she bite?".
I've actually never been bitten by a dog - except for my friend's BC who accidentally scraped me with his teeth when bringing a ball back for me to throw.
Now cats are another story.....my own cat sent me to the ER once when I tried to break up a cat fight. And that was not the first bite either.
did we have the same childhood?! my neighbor's cocker bit me too -- and this was a dog who had seen me every day for years.
You can add me to the "neighbor had a nasty Cocker" list. Good old Scooter was one of the most vicious, psycho dogs I've ever known - and I worked for vets for a couple years! That dog had to be incarcerated in a bathroom if anyone entered their home, and he was so intent over the years in escaping to maul visitors that he ate about 8" off the corner of the door. The neighbor's excuse for his behavior was always "he was abused as a puppy" (before they owned him) - who knows. I think he just had a screw loose. He sure scared the &*^$# out of me and everybody else regardless! It was a shame because he really was a cute little buff dog...
Working for vets, the scariest dog I encountered was a Pit Bull. This was in 1981, so I didn't even know what he was. We couldn't get near him at the vet's office and had to send him home untreated.
Unfortunately, I carry scars on my face from a severe bite from someone's pet and hunting partner, not Scooter or anything that came in the vet's office. This was a German Shorthaired Pointer. The dog was a known biter, having nailed somebody else badly, but went after me completely unprovoked when I was visiting the home. I had been wary of the dog but certainly didn't expect it to literally leap off the floor into my face. Very scary, to say the least, and I'm fortunate the plastic surgeon did a pretty good job. The dog was PTS after this incident, and I've never been a huge fan of GSPs.
I have an absolutely delightful, extremely people-loving Springer. She's never met a stranger. Dogs, she can be a teeny bit iffy, but people? They were all put on this earth to rub her ears and compliment her. It makes me really sad when folks act afraid to go near Sunny, but it does happen. We actually have met other Springers who are not so great with people, so I do understand. Even the girls at the vet and grooming place (she only gets her nails done there, I do her coat) took a while to remember that Sunny really wasn't going to eat them.
I try to evaluate all dogs I meet on a case-by-case basis and not let breed prejudice get in the way, but that said, I am never quick to approach Dobies, Chows, Chihuahuas, Pits, Rotts, GSPs or anything that resembles a South American kind of guard dog (Cane Corso, etc.). Knew about Anatolians and other shepherds, too, so I'm cautious with them as well. Better safe than sorry!
Packs of aggressive dogs- any and all breeds. Too many stories to tell of retrievers, poodles, shepherds, whatever, get out of their cushy homes, pack up, and spell doom for livestock and wildlife. And then return to their respective homes where they are Precious on the sofa.
I grew up with a Cocker Spaniel who was the absolute best dog ever. We got her as a young dog when I was only two and she was my right hand until I moved out to go to college. She lived 16 years, i was completely unaware of their stigma until I started working in vet clinics. I was shocked because Coco was the most awesome dog.
--Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--
Well, there was the malamute looking dog that we had to PTS when I worked at the animal shelter. Mostly, I believe that dogs bite for a reason.
I am GLAD to see that as yet, no one has mentioned pit bull types. As a pit bull owner, sometimes it feels like I am constantly defending my breed of choice.
Only on page 2, but glad to see what a mix is out there....just goes to show it really isn't the breed, but the dog.
I've only had one of MY dogs bite me one time and that was really my own fault. The dog was a pit/hound cross and sort of nuts his whole life. He was just not balanced right. But he really was a fear biter and I had gotten in his face. Never had a problem w/him the other 12+ years of his life with aggression, either with me or other people (but I still have that scar across my nose...).
The most aggressive dog I've had with other people was a collie/shepherd mix. She was a serious guard dog and didn't fool around. If you were a stranger on our property without a family member, she bit you. Period.
The LEAST aggressive, most people-loving dogs I've owned?
1. Bull Terriers
3. my "heart dog" who was Blue Heeler/Rottie mostly, w/alittle pit & GSD thrown in for good measure. BEST DOG EVER!! Would trust him w/my life and around kids, cats, strangers, etc. He never started a fight and never ran from one either. Super stock dog as well. I miss him....
My JRT was sweet and shy, but I've heard of quite afew JRTs who were "nippy" if you turned your back on 'em.
I can't believe how many goldens are labelled agressive! We have 5 goldens in te family although they are related through the mother line and they wouldn't hurt a person if you were pulling out their hair! They are not dog aggressive at all unless over a toy but that is because they are obbsessive over fetching!
I have been bit by dashhunds just by looking at it- scared of them now.
German shepherds as a breed trait are reserved around strangers so most bite from fear I would think if the stranger is invading their space.
My little dog is fear agressive to people and dogs. I have to be very selective about what company or dog he can say hi to otherwise he is put away when we have visitors. He would fight to the death with another dog and since he is only 8lbs that would be quick!
I don't trust labs because it was a golden lab that just grabbed my little dog and shook him with absolutely no warning. It was older dog, just standing there while we were talking my dog was on a leash beside me not showing and aggression or nervousness. In a blink the dog just darted forward and grabbed him. No coming close and doing stare down, or hair raised or anything. No wonder my dog is scared of other dogs now! He had a huge hole in his neck and a nice vet bill for me! It was the barn lab so used to dogs, people coming around and was older. My dog was not bugging him or anything! So now I don't trust labs lol
I live by a park and have seen a few pitbulls attack other dogs but they obviously were not handled well and shouldn't have been let off leash.
Half the dogs that walk by bark or growl at other pedestrians or dogs- and they don't get corrected by their owners. No wonder there is so many dog issues. We wouldn't let our kids shout insults at people on walks but see no problem with our dogs. Lol most owners think its funny!
The issue for me is that I absolutely expect my dogs to behave the same way to every person in most situations. Me "paddling" my dog so that he's scared/respectful enough of me to jump off the couch when I come close isn't going to help matters when someone else gets near the couch. And yes, I went through a short period where my younger dog would sometimes growl if you tried to pick him up off the couch or chair. I didn't need him to think "Oh, here comes that 'pack leader'/scary person/raving lunatic, I better get up" when he was on the chair; I needed him to be completely fine with anyone from me, to my mother, to my nephew grabbing his collar and pulling him off the chair.
So I taught him that people grabbing his collar and dragging him around was a fun game. That people picking him up in their arms (which he didn't like either) meant cookies were incoming. If you hold your hand out anywhere near his neck, he THROWS his collar into your hand because this is how the game starts. Problem solved. I have zero concerns about people moving him around now, even if I'm not in the room to give him the evil eye as 'pack leader'.
He's an odd, touchy little dog. I think he could easily have become nasty and snappy in the wrong home, and he's the type of dog that I think would absolutely take corrections, back off and internalize until the day that he finally snapped. Instead he's turned into a funny, confident little sport dog who spends his waking hours looking for an opportunity to earn rewards. He's safe with kids. He's fun to live with.
And honestly, I just don't like hitting my dogs. It's not why I own them. It doesn't create the type of dog with which I like living and working. There is no doubt in my mind that positive punishment works in a lot of situations - it's why it still persists despite the other options out there. I think ignoring that fact does nothing to benefit those promoting positive reinforcement based training. Punishment works.
There are downfalls to both types of training. Punishment (done correctly) works quickly to stop behaviors. Downsides: It stops behaviors, creating dogs who are less willing to try new things (maybe a positive to some people). You do not always control what the dog will associate the punishment with (true with reward training as well, but less fall out). The fence collar above is a good example. Another is the experience of someone I used to work with, who is one of the best trainers I've ever known; she used to work with marine animal shows. Her dog was starting to growl and rush the door when people came over, so she used a shock collar (this was a long time ago). Rather than "when I charge the door it hurts" the dog clearly processed it as "when people come to the door it hurts", and for the rest of his life, they had to put the dog away when people came over, because his aggression to people coming into the house just escalated.
Positive trained dogs can also have downsides. Especially with the ones who are very savvy to shaping, you can unknowingly reward behaviors without realizing what it is the dog thinks the reward is for; the difference is that when they are seeking a cookie rather than looking to avoid a punishment, the result is less likely to include aggression. You can get dogs like my younger dog who constantly try to play you like a slot machine, looking for reinforcement. When I'm standing around a parking lot talking to someone and he starts to back up their legs into a handstand because sometimes that means a reward, I think it is hysterical - not everyone may think the same way. You may get paired behaviors that you don't realize, because the dog is trying to work out what gets the reward - in teaching my dog to bark on cue, I didn't process that he was pairing it with down, so now he can't down without barking or bark without downing (winter project to fix that). A lot of people don't want a dog who seeks interaction. They want a houseplant that sits quietly on a bed until they want to do something with the dog. A positively trained dog can absolutely learn to do that, but it is often something you need to make a point to train/reinforce.
At the end of the day, for me, it comes down to what I can live with, both in terms of the dogs' behavior and my own. I've been in one seminar situation where the trainer encouraged much more correction based training than I've ever done with either of my dogs (and I'm not talking smacking or much in the way of physical corrections). I saw my confident young dog start to shut down. He hid in a tunnel at one point. I went home practically in tears because I felt I had failed him by continuing to participate. That's not what I want in a dog.
Good for you.
Do you really think I like hitting animals? I don't. But sometimes a sharp correction/ punishment/ WHATEVER you want to call it is necessary.
Why when correction/punishment/WHATEVER you want to call it comes up, people jump to so many conclusions and try to paint themselves and their animals as saints? 1) Sorry not buying it and 2) Do actually you not realize that the ultimate goal is behavior you CAN and should praise?? That IRL there is no "just correction/ punishment" training? Or if there is you're one of the few that have seen/used it?
My JRT was a dog who easily could have ended up being a biter. Instead she loved everyone and was the friendliest dog I've ever seen.
Last edited by grayarabpony; Apr. 12, 2014 at 12:14 PM.
the worst dogs that i personally have had experience with were all German Shephards. not related to each other, not the same homes. i was doing some house sitting with 2 of them and that never worked out. i had a hell of a time. the 3rd belonged to a friend. i could never get into her house to visit b/c the damn thing was trying to eat my skull.
But the worst attack i know about personally was a pit bull in Philly. Running loose and attacked a friend of mine. his arm and face were ripped up. dog was finally cornered and shot by police.
I've never had a dog come after me, personally. I have had two different dogs go after my goats - one Pitt that was hell-bent on a caprine massicere and a GSD that goes after the goats every time she gets away from her owner.
When I was younger, maybe 16yo?, I adopted an aggressive male Husky. We knew he had a history (multiple bites), but I wanted a dog I could work with. After a few bumps in the road, he turned into a fantastic dog, but was still quite aggressive towards strangers that came to the house (which I thought was terrific). That dog would have laid down his life for our family, but I feel in the right situation, he could have easily attacked a stranger. We have a Yorkie and a Dash Hound. Both are laid-back and I think a child could drag the Dash Hound around by the tail and she would not care less (although I would NEVER allow I child to do it, I doubt the dog would care). The Yorkie is less tolerant of the two and is more nervous in certain situations.
As a whole, I believe smaller dogs tend to be much more nippy than larger dogs.
The KINDEST dog I've ever had the opportunity of knowing is my 13yo male pug. I "bought" him as a breeding dog when he was 5 years old. He had very little handling and was not even house trained. He has turned out to be the sweetest, kindest, most easy-going dog I've ever met. He has never run away even though you can put him outside all day long. I would trust him in almost any situation with anyone - young or old. They don't make dogs like Seth very often and I feel very blessed to have had him in my life.
I have 2 GSD that have the most fabulous temperaments, look ominous, but would rather lick you than bite you. However, they are wicked smart and would take you on in a heartbeat if you threatened me or my family. I put in a lot of time socializing them and had pro trainers come in and help me. I never knew how much needed to go into training EVERY dog, no matter what the breed.
The dogs that I fear most are Rottweilers. "The Omen" movie in 1976? did it for me. Them and sharks (Jaws).